Ask Coach Bradley - Tracking Progress During The Winter
Updated: Jan 27, 2021
Whether you are part of our CARA training programs, working towards your next 5k PR, or a beginning runner CARA Director of Training and Head Coach Tim Bradley is here to answer your training questions!
Q: As I increase my mileage this winter, what is the best way to monitor and track progress?
A: As you monitor your training and volume over the coming weeks, a few key things to track (besides the traditional miles per week) include: 4-week rolling average, your max speed, and total miles on your current shoes.
4-Week Rolling Average: Calculating a 4-week rolling average involves taking the total amount of miles you have run in the last 4 weeks and dividing it by 4. As the weeks progress, you simply recalculate each week using the latest 4 weeks. This will give you a better snapshot of how your training has been going. During the winter you will often have good weeks and bad weeks, so taking a wider view of your milage gives you better insight into which direction your volume is trending.
4-Week Rolling Average Example
Miles Per Week
Week 1: 30mi.
Week 2: 35mi.
Week 3: 20mi
Week 4: 45mi
Total Miles in 4 Weeks: 130
4-Week Rolling Average: 32.5 miles
Max Speed Exposure: This number represents the fastest pace you have maintained so far in the training cycle. This gives you an indication of where your best pace is at and what range you can safely stay in to avoid injury. Generally, you don't want to accelerate this number too fast and it is better to gradually improve it week by week. If you are doing weekly speed workouts, this is a great way to monitor progress and make sure you are not being too aggressive chasing split times.
Shoe Condition: Keeping track of how many miles are currently on your shoes is another great stat to monitor. Subtle changes in shoe firmness occur over time and gradually put more strain on your tendons, ligaments, and joints. Timing of when to switch out your shoes is key and you want to make sure you know this number. Have a plan of when you may need to make a change. Typically the life of a pair of shoes ranges from 300-500 miles.
Have a training question? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.